We hear a speech by former U.S. attorney general Ramsey Clark, speaking at an anti-inauguration protest staged by the A.N.S.W.E.R. coalition at John Marshall Park in Washington DC. [includes rush transcript]
Some 10,000 demonstrators converged on Washington DC to protest the presidential inauguration of George Bush amid the tightest security in inaugural history.
Protesters marched in a demonstration through Malcolm X park that ended in a "die-in." Thousands more lined the parade route holding signs accusing Bush of war crimes, calling for the end of the Iraq war and turning their backs on the presidential motorcade.
Members of the Black Bloc also successfully blocked many Bush supporters from reaching their seats after they forced the police to shut down two entry points to the seating area. Police reported making 14 arrests during the inauguration celebrations but targeted many more people with pepper spray.
The A.N.S.W.E.R. coalition secured a permit to stage a counter-inauguration protest at John Marshall Park, which lasted throughout the day. It was the first time in inaugural history that the antiwar movement was able to have bleachers, a stage, and a sound system for a mass antiwar demonstration directly on the parade route. Dozens of speakers took to the stage throughout the day. Among them, was former US attorney General, Ramsey Clark.
- Ramsey Clark, former U.S. Attorney General, speaking at the A.N.S.W.E.R. Inauguration Protest, January 20, 2005.
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
AMY GOODMAN: The ANSWER Coalition secured a permit to stage a counter inauguration protest at John Marshall Park, which lasted throughout the day. It was the first time in inaugural history that the anti-war movement was able to have bleachers, a stage, and a sound system for a mass anti-war demonstration directly on the parade route. Dozens of speakers took to the stage throughout the day. Among them, former U.S. Attorney General, Ramsey Clark.
RAMSEY CLARK: Ready to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. We have to take the Constitution back, back from crimes against peace, from war crimes, and crimes against humanity. You know, the Nuremberg tribunal called the war of aggression the supreme international crime, and it is. And George W. Bush has waged a war of aggression against Iraq. He has killed more than 100,000 people. Are their lives worth nothing? Can we have a moment of silence in memory of all of the people that have died in Iraq, because the criminal acts of George W. Bush in waging this war of aggression? Every moment of their lives is fraught with danger right now because of us. The world is the most dangerous place it’s ever been now because of what our country has done, and is doing, and we have to take it back. We can’t wait four more years. There can’t be any more Fallujahs. Fallujah is the 21st century equivalent of Guernica. We just went in and destroyed that city, drove the people out, killed them, thousands. We don’t know how many. They won’t even bother to count who’s been killed or how many, or estimate how many. They just keep killing. Almost every day we’re reading about another checkpoint where some family got wiped out. Because they didn’t do what they were supposed to do according to the military there. Abu Ghraib is unbelievable in the innocent times of 1961. That we would torture people that way and on the instructions of the President of the United States and his highest legal advisers, torture is okay, they said. Go for it, fellas. If we can’t renounce that and remove it from office, then the Constitution doesn’t work anymore. We have got to do more than take back the Constitution; there has to be accountability for what’s happened. The Constitution says that the President, Vice President, and other officials of the United States shall be removed from office upon impeachment for and conviction of high crimes and misdemeanors. If you care about the Constitution, you better start talking to your member of the House of Representatives and say impeachment now is now essential to the integrity of the United States government, and to the future of the United States. We’ve had more than 500,000 people sign on, "Vote to Impeach." We need to get 5 million, and we need to get 5 million on there quick, and then the Congress will react. The Congress understands something when the people demand it. And the power is in the people. Always has been. The question is whether the people have the will to exercise it. I think that the imperative challenge of the American people now is to live up to the Constitution and demand the impeachment of George W. Bush and the other officials of the government responsible for these crimes. Thank you very much.
AMY GOODMAN: Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, protesting the second inauguration of President George W. Bush.